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Nobody may have campaigned on higher property taxes last election cycle, but legislators are poised to encourage them in the Texas House. On the calendar for Wednesday is legislation that would permit up to 20% increases of certain school district property tax assessments.

Sponsored by Democrat State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), HB 506 would allow “fast growth” schools districts  to inflict up to a $0.60 I&S tax rate — 10 cents higher than the current cap — if they already have a set rate of $0.45 or higher on Sept 1, and if they have a 3 out of 5 stars on the Comptroller’s FAST study.

The legislation was voted out of Public Education Committee by a vote of 8-1. Voting in support of raising property taxes were: Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen), Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston), Joe Deshotel (D- Beaumont), Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown), Rick Galindo (R-San Antonio), Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso), Ken King (R-Canadian), and Gary VanDeaver (R-Texarkana).

Property tax burdens in Texas is already one of the highest in the nation, and taxes are already skyrocketing across the state. Despite this, the Texas House taken a hostile tone to property tax relief (preferring sales tax reductions instead) and is now poised to accentuate the burden to homeowners if the legislation is passed.

A review of the record shows who is behind the move—liberal and taxpayer funded municipal organizations like the Texas School Alliance, Fast Growth Schools Coalition, and Texas Association of School Administrators.

Texans have made it very clear that property taxes are too high in the Lone Star State. In a University of Texas/ Texas Tribune poll, Texans disapproved of the current property tax burden by 54%. Rather than encourage further increase the Texas House should look across the hall to the Texas Senate for how to deal with property taxes.

 

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